Kingston, NY (DCA)
Well, what a show, what a weekend. As always, I am Jeff Ream, and I approve of
this review(cross posted to DCP with my approval as well)
The drive wasn't a killer. Kingston is actually a nice town....spent some time
Saturday driving around, checking out the farmers market...their downtown is
set up in an old fashioned kind of way thats cool if they feill in all the
empty store fronts.
Stadium is nice, tho i expected it to be higher. bathrooms were out of
commission early in the show...lef to a lovely bug swarm by the concessions.
As always my comments on shows and scores may offend. I'm used to it. One pet
peeve.....snare lines that cant march. saw it in all but 5 corps last night.
Designers take note for next year...purple is now officially overkilled as
Sun....a nice lil show that needs work, and some bodies added in yet. My
biggest concern was the battery.....you need more than 2 bass drums. pit played
pretty well, tho there some front to back issues. guard was ok, tho seemed to
be staged onto side 1 a lot. my suggestion to design team...go old school in
the Beginning of Legend.....sing the drum part like the old days. it's a GE
moment. All in all, on par with this time last year, but can crank it up with
hard work the next few weeks. Hazelwood, nice tympani technique :P
Carolina: Huge improvement since Lewisburg. The show flows better now, and
brass to perc balance is better. Staging seems to work better now too...over
all a huge jump, and another corps, if they don't go A, that will be fighting
for those last few spots.
Empire. Huge improvment since lewisburg amd they were the dookie then. Marching
well, playing very well, and the storyline is more fleshed out. Addition of
body at the holds takes away from the "stands still too much" stiggma people
talked about.Percussion had a strong showing...i know i saw members smile when
they threw down in the field judges face. brass was on fire, esp Joey and the
other soloists. hands down winner. hey Jimmy you look good in Blue :P
Bush: saw at track level...got mugged by Ponzo getting water. Another corps
that jumped a lot in quality, and seemd to be having a good night. All sections
have come a long way, and props to Sean lawler and the drum staff. The theme is
fleshed out more, and the show flowed a lot better. Perc hugley improved esp
the pit( Joe Itkor looks good behind tympani). I wish i has been up top to see
Sky: Improved, but missing something besides a quad line, which has to be
hurting perc scores. The Gershwin thing, while cleaner seemed choppier in
design.....I want to like the show, but right now that Sky oomph isn;'t there.
I dunno, it just left me flat.
Bucs: IMO, should have been 2nd overal, and was on fire. Marching crisp and
clean, brass powerful( holes being filled in helped). drumline nailed the
show...cymbal line slayed. low brass had 2 Phantom alums behind me giddy w/joy
and singing along( so Poo and Windham, your dogs have fleas eh?)
IMO, this show was blown last night by the guys in the maroon shirts. Clearly,
this corps was in the zone.....all pistons firing. In fact, this had the 2nd
best crowd reaction of the night.
Grennies: a huge letdown after last year. This show just didnt gel to me.
percussion pretty clean. the NY Voices stuff came off as old and overdone, and
following Bucs couldbt have helped. IMO, not as good as last year, and will be
struggling to get in.
Brigs: big improvement over Hershey, and guard was fabulous, and is THE
reason, IMO, they won visual. They march well, but little velocity and maybe 2
sets where they go ove ran 8 to 5 may haunt them at the end. Drums palyed well,
but had some uglies at key moments. Brass played well, but a few soloists had
issues. Over all, IMO, 4th due to Bucs explosive performance.
Cabs.....Opener great. perc firing away, horns throwing down. Ballad not good
tonight, and it hurt them. Closer started strong, then...well... before the big
slow push, Russ turned around to get crowd reaction, and IMO, it killed the
momentum. Crowd didnt buy it, and it went too long, and made that pause in the
music seem too long. Corps though kept going and drill at the end was much
cleaner. brass played pretty well, and drumline won a tough show.
CV: huge improvement from Hershey, and odd, score only went up two places.
Snare line needs visual help in ballad fast.....they weren't even playing when
i caught the uglies down low. Brass played well, soloists firing. lack of
velocity is the biggest issue, alo9ng with a ballad that goes kinda long. If
these issues can be addressed, i say they can make a jump towards Bush and
Hurcs.....improved, and an anniversary show any alumni would be proud of. Not
sure i like the backdrops and how they were used, but i do like the arrengement
of Mariah into Mag 7. Never been a fan of Make His praises, but they did ok
with it. In all, should make finals, but i dunno if the show can catch Bush.
There ya have it. flame away or give rave reviews.